Article Spotting the Squat


Well-Known Member
4 Jul 2011
Squats should be spotted by two spotters, one at each end of the bar. In the event of a missed lift, each spotter hooks an elbow under the end of the bar, and takes the plates in both hands. Care must be taken to keep the assistance balanced and coordinated to avoid uneven deloading of the weight and possible torsion injury. If two spotters are unavailable, a single spotter can assist by taking some of the weight of the bar allowing the lifter to return the weight to the rack. Unlike other exercises this exercise does not present much of a chance for the spotters to assist the lifter, as the spotters only intercede in the event of a missed lift.

Here is what Mark Rippetoe has to say about spotting the squat (quoted from Starting Strength):

One spotter standing behind the lifter, leaning over with arms wrapped around and under the lifter's chest, is not only an embarrassing position but also a terribly ineffective and unsafe one. After all, if you are so ungracious as to drop the bar off your back, what will your single spotter do? Catch it? Coupled with the fact that any help he gives you from this position will be applied to your chest, thus altering your position at precisely the worst time it could be altered, a single squat spotter is usually a bad idea.​
In a dire emergency, a spotter might be able to help by standing directly behind and pushing up on the bar with as even a hand position as can be managed around your grip and bar placement (refer to the third image below). This may not work and if so everybody needs to take care of himself by getting away from the bar as safely as is possible (some coaches teach their athlete to dump the bar off the back when using rubber bumper plates and using no spotters in the event of a miss). But this is a completely avoidable situation, one that indicates that either the wrong weight is on the bar or that there is not enough help in the gym.​



New Member
7 Jun 2011
good stuff. more people needs to know this and stop doing the "bear hug from behind" assistance. it's wrong and it's gay.


Well-Known Member
1 Aug 2011
good stuff. more people needs to know this and stop doing the "bear hug from behind" assistance. it's wrong and it's gay.
sad to see many gym instructors actually assisting people this way


Well-Known Member
4 Jun 2011
not many people has got the privilege of having 2 spotters all the time..


Well-Known Member
4 Jun 2011
safety is paramount. with the assurance of spotters beside you, you can squat heavy, push your limits and have a peace of mind.


3 Feb 2013
I agree. Before starting any new exercise, it is important to know the exact ways to start? Is there any one who has been looking for a realistic workout plan? If so, please watch couple of video tutorials of Edward Checo.

Keep in mind that, if your start is wrong then your result would also be the wrong.